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Bidding Information
Lot #    19269
Auction End Date    11/13/2007 11:12:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    A Responsa: Date Line in Halachah
Title (Hebrew)   
Author    [Polemic] R. Aaron Hayyim ha-Levi Zimmerman
City    New York
Publisher    Hamaor
Publication Date    1953
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   25-40 pp. plus wrappers, quarto 265:170 mm., light age staining. A very good copy bound in the original title-wrappers.
   Polemical monograph on the sensitive issue as to date line in Halakhah by R. Aaron Hayyim ha-Levi Zimmerman by R. Jacob Moses. The monograph is an offprint from the preeminent rabbinical journal of the time, Hamaor. The issue is one that has been addressed extensively, as the precise location of the international date line effects the Sabbath and festivals. According to the presently effective international agreement, when it is the Sabbath in Israel it is Sunday in certain parts of the Pacific. Now, when shall Jews in these Pacific islands observe the Sabbathon the seventh day by their local calendar, or on Sunday, on the theory that it was God's intent that the Sabbath day be computed with Jerusalem as the center of time? The problem is reminiscent of the great medieval dispute as to whether the earth or the sun was the center of the universe. The Church chose the earth and any other opinion was declared heresy. Similarly, many rabbis argued that Jerusalem was the center for the computation of time, and that no other place would satisfy the requirements of Jewish law. This issue was also addressed by R. Menahem M. Kasher, who dissented from the previous position, marshalling all the sources. He was upheld by Israel's Chief Rabbinate when he asserted that the international date line was binding on Jews. Actually Rabbi Kasher has been anticipated by earlier authorities but what makes his decision particularly interesting is that one of his arguments is sociological. He stated, for example, that if "the nations of the world in years gone by used their own capitals" for the purpose of measuring time, it reflected their concern for national pride and honor. We should not imitate them... particularly when they have waived their honor and agreed upon a more reasonable approach. His decision was also influenced by the practice with regard to the Sabbath already prevailing among Jews in the areas affected by the date line. Thus an awareness of what is good for humanity at large played an important role in his decision.

R. Aaron Hayyim b. Jacob Moses ha-Levi Zimmerman (d. 1995), rabbi and talmudic scholar. R. Zimmerman was and nephew of R. Baruch Ber Lebowitz and descendant of the Soloveitchik family. Possessed with a keen mind and a photographic memory, R. Zimmerman was a scholar with immense knowledge and reputation. He studied in REITS and was the last student to receive rabbinical ordination from R. Moshe Soloveitchik. Reb Chaim, as he was called by his students and disciples was Rosh Yeshiva of Hebrew Theological College in Chicago until 1964, and later a Rosh Yeshiva in New York City. His last twenty years were spent in Jerusalem. Reb Chaim Zimmerman was perhaps the Gaon HaDor of his time. His knowledge of Torah was indisputable. R. Zimmerman also wrote: Binyan Halakha (New York 1942), novellae to the Rambam's Mishne Torah; Agan ha-Sahar (New York 1954) his Magnum Opus on one of the most difficult subjects in Halacha, the international time zone. His work is pure genius. It was said about him that he understood quantum theory as well as did Niels Bohr when most of the scientific community had scarcely heard of it yet.

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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
America-South America:    Checked
Polemics:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica